Mother says 6 year old 'on the mend' after being hit walking to school

      William Smith was hit by a car while he walked to school. (Source: Michelle Hadley)

      By Stacy

      NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The path to school for a group of elementary school students is now tainted by red paint and tragedy.

      "He ran over his 6-year-old friend, then stopped and sped off up Windsor Hill Boulevard," said Erik D'Water, whose 10-year-old son walked with William Smith, 6, to school every day.{}

      D'Water said the group was walking to school at Windsor Hill Elementary Wednesday when a car hit William and sped off.

      "It's just terrible that somebody would have no regard for a human life, much less a 6-year-old child," D'Water said.

      William's mother Michelle Hadley said her son was on the mend Thursday at MUSC Children's Hospital. Though, his injuries were extensive, including spinal fractures and head gashes. She said none was life threatening, but Hadley worried about the emotional toll it could take.

      "Emotionally he's strong. It's just any child would be expected to be traumatized by something like this,"she said.

      The community's support has been invaluable, she said.

      "It's a wonderful feeling that we're getting this much emotional support from the community. The school has done well and is helping the other children get emotional support," Hadley said.

      The community includes people like D'Water, who said he wanted justice.

      "I'm trying to do everything I can now to help family and the community. I'm asking people to call in if they know anything, have seen anybody, if they notice anything suspicious. If a neighbor hasn't been home since yesterday, I have a gut feeling they live in this neighborhood and they might've been rushing to school or work," he said.

      He said his son was traumatized as well and will never walk to school again.

      The S.C. Highway Patrol is investigating the incident. No arrests have been made, officials said.

      Officials at MUSC said Friday that Smith was upgraded to fair condition.